BREAKING DOWN THE WALL

“Then the veil of the temple was torn in two
 from top to bottom” Mark 15:38
© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
FIVE FEET TALL

It was five feet tall
and totally square
but in the center
it was not bare.
Massively strong
and yet, so weak
it held up tightly
then crumbled away.
No one saw through it
all, except one,
the one that was inside it
she was the only one.
Who knew all about this
‘cause she built the square
all around her soul.
A wall to protect her
from stones thrown
a way to feel secure
to be someone complete
to find hold of relief.
So she made it
five feet tall
and totally square
so that her whole being
could fit in there.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
(Originally penned under Marcie Warner)
©5, August 1991

Google image
Walls are made for keeping things in and keeping them out. Some are made of stone, some of brick, and some of wood. Most of the time these walls are made to protect and to keep us safe.

There are also walls that should be torn down. Walls that keep us from opening up to others like in the poem above.

I was 19 years young. I was hurting and sad and mad. But I didn’t want to tell anyone. I just wanted to sit in my room, be by myself and keep the world out. Surely this would make me feel better. Surely this would keep me from being hurt anymore than I already was. But it also kept me from giving or receiving love.


We tape up a box around our hearts. We strive to keep everyone from knowing who we are. Don’t let anyone get close.

Including God.

God – The One Who created us. The One Who breathes life into us. The One Who gave His One and Only Son to be our sacrifice.

And He beckons us:


“COME TO ME AND LISTEN! Attune yourself to My voice, and receive My richest blessings.” – Jesus Calling, p. 281


Come and listen. How do we listen when we’ve built a wall between ourselves and God? How do we listen to obey His voice when we’ve hardened our hearts? We don’t. We can’t.

It’s time to tear down the walls. Open our hearts, our minds, our eyes and lives to The One who has saved us and The One who wants to commune with us because He loves us. The One who ripped the veil of the temple in two so we could come boldly to Him. With anything. Everything. Our WHOLE lives.

It’s time to quit shutting Him out and starting living a life worthy of our Christian walk.

It’s time to stomp the box to pieces. Crush it under our feet and let God in. Stop running from God. Stop running in fear.

Google image
 
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you
Isaiah 55:3
 
 
 
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014
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DEPTHS OF DESPAIR

“Anne Shirley: Can’t you even imagine you’re in the depths of despair?
Marilla Cuthbert: No I cannot. To despair is to turn your back on God.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, movie 1985
FALLING

I’m falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Someone catch me.
Please.
Anyone.
Is there an end?
Falling.
I.Can’t.Breathe.
If I try
I will cry.
And if I cry –
there are too many people –
here
around me.
If I cry
then there is pain.
Pain.
Deep.
Dark.
Way. Down.
There.
Flailing.
Sinking.
Despair.
Desire.
Where.Are.You.God?
I’ve hit bottom.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©28 August 2014

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014   (Maui, Hawaii)
I’ve been thinking about the quote above from Anne of Green Gables and I wondered what it really means to be in despair. Is it the same as just depression? Or is it something deeper? So I did a little research. According to Merriam-Webster the definition for despair is this: “to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve or change”.

Have you ever felt that way? That no matter what you do, where you go, who you are with, etc… your situation is never going to get better?  

Let’s read the words of the Psalmist as he laments his despair:

Psalm 42
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.

1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long,
 “Where is your God?”4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?

The anguish King David feels is so palpable here. Can you feel it? Does it resonate within you? Oh it sure does me! King David didn’t have anti-depressants to take though, did he? So what DID he do to overcome his despair?

Keep reading (beginning at the second half of verse 5):

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, 
my Savior and my God.


8 By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me — a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long,“Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,  for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (taken from the NIV)

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
(Kauai, Hawaii)
King David went to the only source He knew would and could help Him. GOD! He went to God to find his hope and His strength.

Don’t be afraid to go to God and to ask Him what it is that is troubling you. To make it clear to you and to give you a way out of it. You may need to confess sin that you have been living in and turn away from it before He can make a way for you to come up out of this pit of depression. In Psalm 32 (a Psalm of forgiveness) King David talks about how his bones grew old because he groaned so much through the agony of the sin he had been in. If you are in despair, consider first your position with God and make sure your heart is right with God before asking Him to show you what is putting you in your current state of despair.

Earlier we saw that despair says we no longer have hope that our situation will improve or can be changed. I think Marilla Cuthbert is right. When we don’t allow God to help us see how to get out of our situation that is causing the despair, then we are turning our backs to Him telling Him our problems are bigger than He is.

Whatever your struggle is today, would you go to the Truest Friend you can ever have and let Him take care of it? He understands. He forgives. He forgets. He changes lives and He cares more than anyone else! 1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.”

©Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

WHOM OR WHAT SHALL I FEAR?

 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.   
Psalm 56:3(KJV)
©Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
FEAR

Sudden and without provocation
grips you with its talons deep and strong.
There doesn’t even have to be a reason.
It’s just there.
Lurking.
Waiting.
The moment will come and when it does
it will make you stop dead in your tracks.
No going back.
Whispering into your ear.
Heart beats in an unnatural rhythm
and hands begin to shake.
And then,
it snatches you up.
Eats into your mind.
Claws into your gut.
The world spins out of control
a merry-go-round
going faster and faster
stomach gets queasy
head begins to pound.
And just when you think
you can’t take it anymore
it stops.
You get off. Stagger a bit.
Confused for a moment.
Then walk away.
Everything is normal.
Or,
is it?

©Marcell Warner Bridges
29, March 2010

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Ever gone through an experience that was so horrible it almost paralyzed you? This last week I went through an ordeal that even now has me feeling kind of squeamish. It was one of those episodes in life you are sure you’ll never ever forget and you wonder if you’ll ever be able to do things the same ever again.

And I’m NOT going to tell you about it!  (I’ve told enough people and I don’t care to relive the memories right before bed time.)

But sometimes life can get pretty scary. Sometimes it scares us so much we can’t put one foot in front of the other. Or maybe we can’t even get out of bed. But I’ve learned something really important this week.

So when we feel like we can’t handle it, this is the time to give it to God and when we trust Him with it, we are strengthened and we are able to move forward. We are able to calm down and to rest in Him.

This last week was hard when it came to sleeping. I feared closing my eyes so I wouldn’t encounter the memories that come with nothing else to think about.  But last week my friend **Nan just happened to do a blog post entitled Be Still and with it she posted a video of Alan Jackson singing the old hymn, “In the Garden”. Every time I tried to close my eyes to sleep I found myself singing that hymn and many others. I found singing hymns specifically with the name of Jesus so soothing that I eventually drifted off to sleep and each morning waking up thanking Jesus that I did not have any nightmares.

LIVING IN FEAR IS NOT LIVING AT ALL. Give your fears to Jesus and see what He will rescue you from.

I made this video for some friends about a year ago, some of my favorite hymns. 

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**Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort in His Presence. You may visit Nan at her website: www.NanJones.com or her blog, Morning Glory: http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/. For personal communication you may email Nan at nan@jubilantlight.com.

 

  © Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014